Monaco bridge champion banned for doping

The world’s number one bridge player, who represents Monaco in tournaments, has been suspended after failing a drug test. Norwegian Geir Helgemo tested positive for synthetic testosterone and female fertility drug clomifene at a World Bridge Series event in America last September.

According to the World Bridge Federation, Helgemo has accepted that he had breached anti-doping rules, albeit unknowingly. He was suspended by the WBF until 20thNovember. He also had all titles, medals and points from the 2018 World Bridge Series revoked.

Kari-Anne Opsal, president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation, said the drugs were “not performance enhancing”.

In a statement on the federation’s website, she said: “Geir Helgemo … has previously played for the Norwegian national team and is our biggest star. Many within the bridge community know Geir and respect him.

“It is his responsibility not to take substances that are on the doping list, even though in this instance they are not performance enhancing in bridge,” she said.

The World Bridge Federation is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and abides by World Anti-Doping Agency rules.